>> narrator: during the early battles with the clinton administration, those political skills were put to the test. in an effort to energize the gun rights activists, he released this incendiary fundraising letter. >> "...the semi-auto ban gives jack-booted government thugs more power to take away our constitutional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property, and even injure or kill us." >> aren't you concerned when you say, "nazi bucket helmets, government thugs, kicking down doors, killing, maiming people." aren't you inciting people? aren't you willing now to apologize for the tone of this letter? >> those words are not far, in fact, they are a pretty close description of what's happening in the real world. >> and in response to that, many mainstream republicans, george h.w. bush being the leading example, said, "this is not the nra i'm a member of." >> narrator: president bush resigned his lifetime membership in the nra.